Hog Head Stew

Families with deep rural ties might still have a hog killin’ or two each winter, with a ritual puddin’ pot and hog head stew. The Brunson family of Hampton, South Carolina, has assembled its own cookbook, Emily’s Favorite Recipes, which contains such country recipes as cane syrup and fried chitterlings. This hog head stew recipe is Emily Brunson’s. (“For years I helped Uncle Lloyd Rivers butcher, and this is his recipe.”) Liver pudding is similarly made, usually by butchers.


  • 2 small hog heads
  • 1 whole liver
  • 1 heart
  • 1 melt (spleen)
  • 2 kidneys
  • 2 ears salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste cayenne pepper to taste (optional)


Make sure the hog heads are well dressed with the eyeballs and brains out. (Brains may be saved to scramble with eggs for breakfast.) Cut each head into 4 parts and put in a large wash pot full of hot water (over an open fire). When all other parts have been completely cleaned, put them in the pot with the heads. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the meat falls off the bone and the water is cooked down low. Add red pepper if desired. Serve over rice.